Photo by Elizabeth Romer
This page is a resource for the publications and documentaries of John Romer, famed Egyptologist and documentary maker.
John Louis Romer, the son of accountant Louis Henry Romer and secretary Norah Simpson Romer, was born on September 30, 1941 in Surrey. He attended Ottershaw School, the Wimbledon School of Art (1958-1963), and the Royal College of Art (A.R.C.A., 1966) in London. Following this, he traveled and studied in the Near East and married his wife Yvonne Elizabeth de Coetlogan Aylwin (Beth), an artist and writer. After a brief stint teaching the history of art and architecture at art colleges in England and Wales (1968-1972), he worked as an epigraphic artist with the British Institute in Iran at Persepolis and Pasargadae in 1972. He worked as an artist in epigraphic studies — with the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, 1972-1973, and with the Oriental Institute Epigraphic Survey, 1973-1977 — in the temples and tombs of Thebes. In 1977-1979, he became the Field Director of The Brooklyn Museum’s Theban Expedition, originating and organizing an excavation of the tomb of Ramesses XI in the Valley of the Kings. (Read more about this tomb here.) In 1992, at the request of the Egyptian Organisation of Antiquities, he convened a multinational committee to advise and recommend projects and procedures for the conservation of the Valley of the Kings. He is a member of the International Association of Egyptologists and the Egypt Exploration Society. He has been the President of the Theban Foundation (Address: 2134 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704) since 1979. He has written several acclaimed books and produced some excellent documentaries. His primary interests are in the preservation of antiquities, and in making the past meaningful to present-day people. When he is not busy writing books, making documentaries, or pushing for conservation in the Valley of the Kings, he and his wife live in Aiola, Tuscany, Italy.
- Damage in the Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings. With Rutherford and Chekene. Privately published: San Francisco, 1977.
- Physical Deterioration of the Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings: A Progress Report on the 1977-1978 Season of the Brooklyn Museum Theban Expedition. Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Museum, 1978.
- Theban Royal Tomb Project. A Report of the First Two
Seasons. With Ciccarello, Rutherford, and Chekene. Privately published: San Francisco, 1979.
- Theban Royal Tomb Project: A Preliminary Report of the Recent Work in the Tombs of Ramesses X and XI in the Valley of the Kings. With Ciccarello. Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Museum, 1980.
- Valley of the Kings. Henry Holt and Company: New York, NY, 1981. ISBN 0-8050-0993-0.
- Romer’s Egypt. Michael Joseph/Rainbird:
London, 1982. ISBN 0-7181-2136-8. Published in US under
People of the Nile: Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt.
- Introduction to The Tomb of Tutankhamen. Howard Carter. Century Publishing: London, 1983. ISBN 0-7126-0054-X.
- Ancient Lives: Daily Life in Egypt of the Pharaohs. Henry Holt and Company: New York, NY, 1984. ISBN 0-8050-1244-3. Published in England under Ancient Lives: The Story of the Pharaohs’ Tombmakers.
- Testament: The Bible and History. Henry Holt and Company: New York, NY, 1988. ISBN 0-8050-0939-6.
- The Rape of Tutankhamun. Michael O’Mara Books Limited: London, 1993. ISBN 1-8547-9169-9.
- The Seven Wonders of the World: A History of the Modern
Imagination. Henry Holt and Company: New York, NY, 1995.
ISBN 0-8050-4122-2. With Elizabeth Romer.
- “The Scribe Ramose and the Valley of the Kings,” The Human Perspective: Readings in World Civilization, eds. Lynn H. Nelson and Steven K. Drummond. Second Edition. Harcourt Brace College Publishers: Fort Worth, TX, 1997. ISBN 0-1550-1345-9.
- Foreword to Gods, Graves, and Scholars. C.W. Ceram. Folio Society: London, 1999.
- Great Excavations: John Romer’s History of Archaeology. Cassell: London, June 2000. ISBN 0-3043-5563-1. With Elizabeth Romer.
- “Pyramids of Egypt,” Ancient Egyptian Civilization, ed. Brenda Stalcup. Greenhaven Press: San Diego, CA, 2000. ISBN 0-7377-0480-2.
Ancient Lives will be released on DVD this fall. See Amazon.com for details.
See the FAQ Page for information on how to purchase his video series.
- Romer’s Egypt. BBC/Channel 4: London, 1982. 3 programs. Overview of Romer’s Egypt.
- Ancient Lives. Channel 4: London, 1984. 4
programs, split into 8.
- The Village of the Craftsmen
- The Valley of the Kings
- An Artist’s Life
- Temple Priests and Civil Servants
- Woman’s Place
- Dreams and Rituals
- The Year of the Hyena
- The Deserted Village
- Testament. Antelope Films/Channel 4: London,
1988. 7 programs.
- As It Was in the Beginning
- Chronicles and Kings
- Mightier than the Sword
- Gospel Truth?
- Thine Is the Kingdom
- The Power and the Glory
- Paradise Lost
- The Rape of Tutankhamen. Voyager Films/Channel 4/PBS, 1994. 1 program.
- The Seven Wonders of the World. The Learning
Channel, 1995. 4 programs.
- Simply the Best
- The Magic Metropolis
- The Wonders of the East
- Ghosts of Wonder
- Byzantium — The Lost Empire. ABTV/Ibis Films/The Learning Channel, 1997. 4 programs.
- Building the Dream
- Heaven on Earth
- Envy of the World
- For Ever and Ever
- Great Excavations. Channel 4: London, 2000. 6 programs.
More information can be found at the program link here.
Available on VHS and DVD from Films for the Humanities.
- Stones and Bones: The Birth of Archaeology
- Treasure Seekers: Archaeology Turns from Passion to Plunder
- Digging by the Book: Program Archaeology
- Looking for One Beginning: The Fallacy of Diffusionism
- At the Service of the State: Archaeology as Political Tool
- The Future of the Past
- Consultant for Building the Great Pyramid. BBC/Discovery Channel/NDR: London, 2002.
More information can be found at this BBC article.
I believe that this program is available on VHS and DVD from the Discovery Channel Store, along with the companion book.
- Scientific Consultant for The Nile. BBC Bristol: Bristol, 2004.
More information can be found at this BBC program site and IMDB page.
- JEA: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology
MDIK: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologisches
Instituts Abteilung Kairo
NARCE: Newsletter of the American Research Center in Egypt
- “Tuthmosis I and the Bibân el-Molûk: Some Problems of Attribution,” JEA 60, 1974, pp. 119-133.
- “Tomb of Tuthmosis III,” MDIK 31,2, 1975, pp. 316-351.
- “Royal Tombs of the Early Eighteenth Dynasty,” MDIK 32, 1976, pp. 191-206.
- “The Theban Royal Tomb Project,” NARCE 109, 1979, pp. 6-7.
- “In the Steps of Tutankhamun,” Sunday Times Magazine (London), June 8, 1980. pp. 36-47.
- “History and Experience in the Valley of the Kings,” Atti Sesto Congresso Internazionale di Egittologia, Vol. 1. Torino, 1991. pp. 543-548.
Other Internet Resources
- House of Netjer Book Reviews
- An excellent review of the book Ancient Lives.
- The Valley of Death by Owen Coetzer
- This is an old Internet resource, but it was removed from the Independent’s server. With Mr. Coetzer’s help, I have put the article back up again. A very important article on the archaeological practices in the Valley of the Kings!
- Excerpt from “Testament”
- From Kessler Associates, this is a copy of a chapter from Testament.
- A brief, much more up-to-date-than-it-was filmography from the Internet Movie Database.
- Byzantium: The Eye of All the World
- A review, plus external information, of Byzantium: The Lost Empire, by Dexter Satterwhite.
- John Romer on Wikipedia
- Wikipedia's official article on Romer. Most of the information is available here.
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This page was last updated on December 3, 2008.